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Harvard profits from photos of slaves, lawsuit claims

slave photos
Gregg Hecimovich, Chair, Furman Department of English

As Furman University and other institutions reckon with their historical ties to slavery, Harvard University is faced with a dispute over the ownership and use of slave daguerreotypes, a kind of early photograph. A lawsuit claims the photos belong to the descendants of the slaves pictured, and alleges Harvard is still deriving the indirect profits of slavery. Furman University English Professor and Department Chair Gregg Hecimovich, who earlier spoke to a New York Times reporter, is quoted in a National Public Radio story.

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